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Return of the Jedi may be one of the more mixed entries in the Star Wars saga, but most fans appear to be relatively satisfied with the capper to the Original Trilogy. Of course, one of the film’s major focal points is Luke Skywalker’s attempt to reject the Dark Side of the Force. While many were glad that he didn't turn, Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, would have liked to have seen things turn out differently.
Mark Hamill recently recalled complaining to George Lucas about the script for Episode VI, which was initially titled Revenge of the Jedi. Hamill didn’t care for the story’s predictability, particularly when it came to Luke’s fate. However, the Star Wars creator shot down his concerns for a specific reason:
I remember complaining to George [Lucas] about something in Revenge of the Jedi. And I said, ‘It’s so predictable and pat,’ and he said, ‘Mark, don’t forget. These things were made for children.’ His original intention was to make movies for, you know, kids! Adolescents and younger. And we’re bringing our adult sensibilities to it and that’s where we go wrong.
In time, Mark Hamill began to understand why George Lucas decided to take a more positive route. Although it sounds like the actor still wonders what could’ve been, he respects what the man behind the galaxy far, far away does:
He’s the man. He knows what he wants, and I realized he was right. He said, ‘All fairy tales get tied up neatly at the end.’ Because I thought after Empire we should really go crazy as possible with the last one, but there’s a reason why George is where he is and I’m where I am.
Mark Hamill also explained to EW Live that he wasn’t just hoping for Luke to turn to the Dark Side, but he thought it was going to happen based on what he’d seen from the script early on:
Well, I thought I was turning evil. Because I was wearing all black. I thought I would go to the dark side in the last one. And, of course, you have to redeem yourself. But that movie is the way I felt it was going with the preceding episode. But every actor wants to play their own evil twin.
Because he’s played the character off and on for the last 40 years, Mark Hamill has a great deal of love for Luke Skywalker and is usually very vocal when it comes to certain parts of Luke’s story. This was especially true when it came to Skywalker’s depiction in The Last Jedi. Hamill may feel especially compelled to reflect now due to the fact that he’ll no longer be playing the beloved Jedi and has officially said goodbye to the role.
Having Luke turn to the Dark Side in Return of the Jedi would have been an interesting way to end the trilogy. Still, one thing George Lucas has given audiences with Star Wars is hope, and turning the hero into a villain would have contradicted those ideals. But we can definitely still imagine how things could have panned out if Luke did strike down his father. Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi is now streaming on Disney+.